What I don't get is people who have to struggle to make a 3-400 payment and think it's the right thing to do to get a car with that payment
3-400 should be something that doesn't affect you, let alone something you need to struggle for.
This means your income should be at least 2-3k/month if you want to spend 3-400 just on payments, since insurance, gas, maintenance, possible tickets, tires, mods, etc etc aren't exactly cheap..
Now, when I was 16, my net income was a measly $800/month, so I leased a C class for about $380/month. Which was about half my income, but I wasn't responsible for gas, insurance, and other maintenance stuff (my parents took care of it since I was paying for the car myself; they had bought a mid 90s S class for my brother when he was 16 so it was only fair they covered these things for me).
I don't regret it cause it was nice having a brand new Mercedes as my first car and being able to pay for it myself. But if I was anything but a high school student, it would be rather financially unwise to do it. I had no responsibilities then...parents still gave me an allowance, they covered a lot of my food, etc. So it was fine. but as someone who is going to be an adult, you really need to put money aside and NOT waste it on a car.